Let’s talk Witch – To Rhyme or Not To Rhyme


To Rhyme or Not To Rhyme, That is the Question?

It is traditional to have spells rhyme; it is said to give them more power. Who said this, and whether or not it is true, I can’t say. That’s tradition for you. But I can tell you that I prefer, most of the time, to have my spells rhyme (sometimes just every other line). Rhyming adds rhythm and a sense of formality to a spell, and that can also help to focus your will.

On the other hand, if rhyming makes you uncomfortable, and you spend most of your time struggling to find something that rhymes with “checkbook,” then by all means, don’t bother. In the end, it is better to be at ease with what you’re saying than it is to follow tradition, don’t you think.

No matter which God or Goddess you call on or how beautiful your rhyme scheme, if you mean to ask for “the perfect man for me” and actually ask for “a good man” –and end up with some guy literally name Goodman–you’re going to wish  you’d spent a little more time picking the right words instead of the rhyming words.

Life As The Witch – Spell-Writing Basics

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Spell-Writing Basics

Don’t worry if you are not the world’s greatest writer. Spells don’t have to be long and complicated in order to work, and the Gods don’t care if you can spell correctly! The most common complaint I get is from people who can’t get their spells to rhyme. But that’s okay—-they don’t have to.

Rhyming is nice for some spells. Traditionally, rhyming is used to give the spells a little more power through the rhythms of the words and to make them easier to memorize. But it certainly isn’t necessary. I’ll give you an example of a prosperity spell done both ways, just make it clear.

Prosperity Spell 1 – Rhyming

God and Goddess hear my plea

Rain prosperity down on me

Bring in monies large and small

To pay my bills one and all

Money earned and gifts for free

As I Will, So Mote It Be.

(Originally published in Circle, Coven & Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice, Llewellyn, 2007.)

Prosperity Spell 2 – Not Rhyming

Money I need and money I want

So let it come to me

In positive ways, at perfect times

As I need it, as I want it

As I Will It, So It Is.

As you can see, both spells ask for the same thing–they just do it in a slightly different way. The second spell is simpler; it doesn’t rhyme, it is shorter, and it doesn’t get as specific–but there’s no reason it couldn’t work. You could write a spell like that even if writing isn’t your thing.

So the first thing to know about writing spells is that it is fine to do so in whatever style or manner you are comfortable with.

Excerpts from:

“Writing and Casting Spells for the Best Results”
By Deborah Blake
Llewellyn’s 2013 Magical Almanac for Everyday Living

Living the Magickal Life of the Witch: Repetition

Repetition: Say It Again, and Again for Meaning and Rhythm

Your goal or intent will help you focus and decide how to structure the repetition of your chant. If something is important, repeat it – this is also the basis for a refrain. A chant leader can say a few lines and a group can repeat the same lines or different ones. Repetition is also a good way to reinforce the purpose of your chant. Here’s an example used by an African tribe:

New Moon, come out, give water for us.
New Moon, thunder down water for us.
New Moon, shake down water for us.

The goal here is apparent:  water from the sky, and the time of action is the New Moon. This chant asks the New Moon to bring rain. In our language, it doesn’t rhyme, but you get the idea. A similar chant may go like this:

Rain will wash us
Rain will cleanse us
Rain renew us
Rain will fall

In the next example, the approach is a tone of asking:

Rain come wash us
Rain come cleanse us
Rain renew us
Rain please fall

Both examples repeat the goal (hoping for rain), and the number of syllables in each line is the same. In addition, repetition of words like “come” or “will” help to recall the words of the chant. And, since “rain” and “renew” both begin with “r” that helps as well. Group members could easily memorize this chant for quick repetition, especially if the chant leader is familiar with it and can serve as a guide.

Always remember to practice your chant before teaching it to others. If you become tongue-tied while trying to speak the words, chances are that others will also have difficulty. Sometimes too much alliteration results in tongue-twisters. Practice chanting it several times to be sure it has even rhythm and the words are easy. Word play is fun, so enjoy it! Think of it as a game or puzzle, especially when trying your hand with complex rhyme schemes and meter. As with any magickal art, crafting your words carefully can add extra personal energy to your work.

When in doubt, try it out. Practice your chant. Repeat it over and over while tapping out the rhythm. You’ll be able to feel it. Chants that have good rhyme and rhythm are easy to repeat and remember, resulting in rituals that leave your hands free with no worries about a script to follow. This way, more attention can be given to focusing energy and reaching a magickal state of mind – and that is the ultimate purpose of a chant.


Excerpt from:
The Three R’s of Chant Writing: Rhyme, Rhythm and Repetition
By Ember Grant
Llewellyn’s 2012 Magical Almanac